By Daniel Pelc - Client Executive
Fios, Inc. | Electronic Discovery Simplified®
"Modern cyberspace is a deadly festering swamp, teeming with dangerous programs such as 'viruses,' 'worms,' 'Trojan Horses,' and 'licensed Microsoft software' that can take over your computer and render it useless."
- Dave Barry
Bad, Danny, BAD! Ok, ok, I know. I am a bit late in getting this thing up. My sincerest apologies to all of you who have been forced to read last month's column countless numbers of times each day. I understand that many of you log in at midnight, hoping against hope that some nugget of trivia will brighten the remaining hours of your day. I apologize for dashing those hopes. The only explanation that I can proffer is that my beloved Minnesota Twins were in the pennant race, and I spent most of my evenings rooting on the home team. With those hopes promptly dashed, I can spend a bit more time focusing on the strange and amazing world of electronic discovery. In order to find myself back in your good graces, I have scoured the underbelly of the American press to find you TWICE the amount of strange and amazing ED facts. I have decided to cap this month's column with some bi-partisan jabs. I hope you like this month's info, AND, get back to work!!!
U.S. officials charged a Florida man with stealing "vast amounts of personal information" from a computer database owned by Acxiom Corp., one of the world's largest managers of personal, financial and corporate data. Scott Levine, 45, of Boca Raton, and employees of his company hacked into an Acxiom file server and downloaded the information. Assistant U.S. Attorney General Christopher Wray said in Washington that the case may involve "the largest intrusion of personal data" ever uncovered and prosecuted. The 144-count indictment, filed in federal court in Little Rock, Ark., says about 8.2 gigabytes of data, or about 8.2 billion characters, were copied from Acxiom's server between April 2002 and August 2003.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association says 15 million people play fantasy sports, and in 2003 baseball team owners spent three hours and two minutes a week managing their teams. Rotisserie baseball has a strong effect on the workplace: Coworkers frequently form their own leagues, and the friendships cemented in fantasy leagues frequently hold up even after members move on to other jobs, cities or countries. According to the Web site www.mlb.com, the percentage of rotisserie baseball owners who said they checked their teams online during work jumped from 29 in 2002 to 51 percent in 2003.
Ridge demanded Maya tell him what is going on between her and Nick. After denying their involvement is anything other than business, Maya fled, but Ridge caught up to her, and they rushed to stop the ceremony moments before Nick and Brooke said their "I do's." The wedding guests were stunned when FBI agents turned up and arrested Nick and Massimo, who were informed that evidence of money transfers to foreign rulers was discovered on Nick's computer. Ridge pledged his love and support to Brooke, who admitted she was marrying Nick for the baby's sake.
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Exxon, Mobil, and Delta have installed a software program on their company computers to ferret out any sign of employee opposition to management authority. The program forwards to managers all employee documents and e-mails - saved or unsaved, sent or unsent - containing "alert" words like "boss" or "union." As a supervisor explained to the Wall Street Journal, "The workplace is never free of fear - and it shouldn't be. Indeed, fear can be a powerful management tool." So repressive is today's workplace, wired or not, that Human Rights Watch recently sent Lance Compa of Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations there to investigate. What did he find? In the last decade alone, according to federal government statistics it, almost 200,000 employees punished for exercising their right to form and participate in a union.
Fire Department investigators are examining a computer seized from a firehouse at O'Hare International Airport because of indications that it had been used to visit "inappropriate sites" on the Internet, department spokesman Larry Langford said Thursday. Langford declined to say whether the sites were pornographic.
A Santee man pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that he twice sent threatening letters containing a suspicious white powder to an IRS agent who was auditing him. The second letter resulted in the evacuation of a portion of the federal building in downtown San Diego last summer while authorities tested the substance, which turned out to be laundry detergent in one case and roach killer in the other.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Parmley told the court that shredded documents found in a bag in Harer's home, along with evidence discovered in Harer's computer, link him to the crime. Harer faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The San Diego Union-Tribune
A Leon County Circuit Court judge decided Wednesday to allow state Attorney General Charlie Crist's lawsuit against long-distance carrier AT&T to proceed. After Crist sued AT&T in April for illegal marketing and billing practices, the phone company sought to move the case to the Florida Public Service Commission. But Leon County Circuit Court Judge Nikki Ann Clark rejected AT&T's request. AT&T said in April that a computer error caused it to erroneously bill about 1-million customers nationwide for services they never requested.
St. Petersburg Times
On June 1, Interstate Bakeries Corp. hit the "go" button on a new computer data management system designed to bring it into the 21st century. The goal of the $60 million system, designed by SAP AG and implemented with the help of its consulting partner, Accenture, was to move Interstate from a highly decentralized company to a centralized one. .Training deficiencies, data entry glitches and other problems in implementing the system led to a crisis of confidence that ultimately played a role in pushing the Kansas City-based baking giant on Sept. 22 to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection from creditors.
The Kansas City Star
.A state employee earning $60,000 per year was fired for using the state's computer to search for life in outer space ("State fires programmer for unapproved software," Dispatch article, Oct. 9). The good news is that he allegedly only did his search at night. Who knows what he might have found if he searched during the day? Possibly a state employee in another galaxy who was looking for intelligent life on Earth.
CLEM PARRISH - The Columbus Dispatch
In October 2003, a Microsoft employee was fired after he posted on his blog a photo of several rival-company Macintosh computers sitting in a loading dock on Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., campus. He captioned it, "It looks like somebody over in Microsoft land is getting some new toys."
The Columbus Dispatch
John Kerry planned to go hunting Thursday, showing he's a regular guy to voters who might harbor some doubts. Kerry adviser Mike McCurry said it's important in the final days of the campaign that voters "get a better sense of John Kerry, the guy." Kerry bought the nonresident (Pennsylvania) license and a special wetlands habitat stamp Saturday at a small-town grocery store. He didn't have a driver's license to prove his identity since he's driven everywhere by the Secret Service. The store owner put all of Kerry's personal information into a computer but paused when Kerry said his hair was "salt and pepper." The owner informed Kerry the system would only let him pick a simple color, and the senator reluctantly acknowledged his hair was "more gray."
About 44 percent of people using the Internet this year to support and donate to candidates, read political logs and take part in discussions of politics have never before been politically involved in traditional ways. The presidential campaigns ran a few Internet ads in 2000. This year, some experts predict that federal, state and local campaigns will spend a collective $25 million on online ads.
To date, Bush has raised $4.2 million via the Internet. In a two- day period last month, Kerry raised $10 million online. In the first quarter of this year, the Democratic National Committee raised more money online than it did in all of 2002, said DNC spokesman Tony Welch. It was former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean who dramatically demonstrated the power of the Internet by raising a record-breaking $40 million for his Democratic presidential campaign in 2003, much of it small contributions over the Internet.
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Internets as President Dubya would say have been abuzz with a conspiracy theory that the president was wired for his debates with John Kerry and was fed answers to the questions. The evidence? That photos showed a suspicious, rectangular bulge showing through the back of his suit jacket. The conspiracy theory has taken off and gone mainstream. The New York Times examined the issue. The Los Angeles Times has mentioned it. John Edwards made light of it when he appeared on Leno last week, joking that his running mate should "pat (Bush) down" before Wednesday night's debate. The New York Daily News ran a story quoting a tailor who said the president should've called him because he can sew a suit to conceal a gun so hiding a transmitter would be easy. (The tailor also said Bush's suit "lacks zip and looks like something off the rack from Today's Man. ")
York Daily Record
Thanks for stopping by. We'll see you next month.
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